Back to School 101: Tips for Parents
Where did the summer holidays go?! It June and that time of the year again, when kids have to go back to school! (I can almost hear that collective sigh of relief from most parents!)
Covering notebooks and neatly labelling them, buying new bags, bottles, tiffins, raincoats, shoes, uniforms, etc. the list is endless. But it’s also exciting. The anticipation of going back school, of meeting friends and teachers, the excitement is palpable in any home right now! While the kids may or may not be looking forward to starting school, we parents too need to get our act together. Here’s a quick parents-back to school list:
Set a bed time and wake up routine:
The holidays often play havoc with pre-set routines! With odd sleeping hours and extended afternoon naps, a decent bedtime hour has gone for a toss! Start getting your kids used to the school schedule at least a week before school begins, that way you won’t have to struggle too much with cranky morning kids.
Plan healthy lunches and snacks:
One of the most often questions parents ask themselves each morning or the night before is ” what do I pack in the Tiffin tomorrow?” It’s quite challenging to come up with menus that are not only interesting but also healthy for your child to eat. A little holiday homework for the parents can help ease this quandary. Browse through recipe books and the zillion online sites and find healthy stuff that you know will be gobbled up in a jiffy as well as made in a jiffy. There are some ingenious parents out there who have mastered the art of camouflaging vegetables!
Talk to your children:
Going back to school may not always be looked forward to by all kids. Anxiety related to studies, bullies, friends could be on your child’s mind. The best thing to do is – talk about it. I’ve found that pre-bedtime chats are ideal for this. Understand what is bothering your child the most and get to the bottom of it. Try and provide practical doable solutions that will ease the stress that your child is going through. For first timers, it’s really important to discuss what big-school is going to be like and what they should expect.
Get to know teachers:
New academic year orientation is the best time to get to know new teachers and talk with them. Update them of any special instructions/ medical information that they need to know about your child. Understand what the year has in store for your child and you. Be on the ball with any new schedule changes. And most of all communicate all this to your child.
Set those rules:
School days have rules. Whether its screen time, play time, waking up, eating right – everything has a strict schedule when school begins. For your sanity and the wellbeing of your children – try and spell out those rules at the beginning of the year. Sit down with your kids and plan the non-negotiables with them. (I don’t want to mislead you so let me put it out there in really plain words no amount of rule setting is going to avoid those tantrums so brace yourself and be satisfied in the fact that you have done all you can!)
Plan a last holiday party
Plan something fun for the kids before school begins. An outing to their favourite park, a picnic, a movie or just a fun get together with friends where they can have an absolute blast before the strict school routine sets in.
There you have it. Your six point agenda before school starts. Here is wishing all you parents out there tons of patience, a good night’s sleep and unmatched will power before this academic session. You can do it, just remember to breathe!